Tuning Forks in the Road

Posted by Anthony Mango Saturday, August 16, 2008

I've been telling people for a while that I have a theory about country music fans that I was trying to flesh out. Well, so far, it has a perfect track record, so I'll just say it out. I'm warning you ahead of time that you shouldn't waste your time replying with "hey, I'm a fan of ____ music, and that doesn't fit me, fuck you, you just don't like it"...because I don't care. This is for an overall perspective, not "every single one". Don't get offended. You should expect this brutal honesty stuff from me by now haha.

Anyway, the theory was that fans of country music, in an overall sense, have low self-esteem and/or have trouble dealing with problems on their own because they get stressed out easily. Subconsciously, they like it because its a happier, more relaxed type of music. The general message for country music songs is that "everything is going to be ok". The music isn't very complex. The lyrics, the arrangement, they're both very simple. It doesn't have a broad range of instruments either, as its pretty much all dominated by a solitary guitar. Its a reassuring type of music that is a form of consolation for its fans, as the dominant subjects are love and friendship. Even the so-called sad songs are usually with an optimistic spin on it, such as "I loved you so much, its a shame you're not here anymore". The sad songs aren't depressing like "oh Jesus Christ I'm going to kill myself cause life blows" lol.

The opposite but similar situation goes with screamo music. Its a consolation for those punk/goth kids because they have trouble expressing their emotions in anything but their appearance and their music. They can't say "nobody's really paying any attention to me, and its frustrating", so instead, they dress in ways that they subconsciously think will get them noticed. They think they're already outcasts, so they might as well dress like that and "beat people to the punch". How often do you run into someone (whether or not they're punk/goth) that tries to play off a failure as "eh, I knew it was going to happen, so I didn't even try, in fact, I tried to fail spectacularly"? Same concept. But with music, since they can't express themselves, they like listening to the type of music that literally SCREAMS. If you can't say it yourself, listen to someone else say it. Or in many cases, just repeat the lyrics of the song and that way you can say "I just like the song", not "this is how I feel but I can't speak the words myself". If you wouldn't dare utter a phrase like "I feel like I'm alone", and you keep bottling your emotions, the only way to release it is to listen to someone else put it in a song that you can sing/scream along to. That way, you get it all out of you, but you (foolishly) think that you're not wearing your heart on your sleeve. I've dated a couple emo/punk/goth type girls before and one of the things that I've found is a universal principle is that if you can get them to trust you, they open up very very easily, and they actually stop listening to this music and wearing those clothes.

I don't even have to explain why certain people listen to the BAD type of rap (ala the type that isn't like the Beastie Boys or something, where its more about the musical concept of rhyming, but instead, the type of rap that is all about slapping a ho and shooting up the police).

Rock and heavy metal, there's a large portion of people that are very thick-headed and not very creative. Granted, like I'm saying with every one of these topics, not all people apply, but there are a lot of people that ONLY like rock/heavy metal...nothing else...and those people typically can't think for themselves. They think of music more as noise, rather than something creative.

So what's better noise than a loud screeching guitar?

Jazz...now, I haven't done enough research on this one, so bear with me. My theory on this one is that either you're a fan of it, or you think that by being a fan, you're suddenly more cultured than everyone else. You know the people, too. They're the ones that wear berets and consider sipping cappuccino at Barnes & Noble to be aspects of their personality, rather than just attempts to recreate the stereotypical personality of who they're trying to be. Just because you don't know any of Coltrane's songs doesn't mean you're a wild beast lol.

All in all, as I've been saying, this is for the massive fans of different areas, not for "every single fan out there". I like a few bluegrass songs, I like a lot of rock, I like some Jazz, etc. This isn't an attack against these types of music (except for the shitty type of rap but most fans that are addicted to that won't understand this anyway lol), its just a series of observations.

Don't like the sound of all this?

Change the station.

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